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January 5, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate will not hold formal sessions, subject to the call of the chairs.

Media Reviewtodaysevents 


president signing Obama's New Military Strategy.

President Obama unveiled a new military strategy, "Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense," that he described as necessary to "clarify our strategic interests in a fast changing world" at a time when the United States also must reduce spending in order to "renew our economic strength here at home." At his first-ever news conference at the Pentagon, Obama insisted that coming budget cuts are being made "responsibly" as the "tide of war is receding." The strategic review that Obama oversaw personally acknowledges that now is the time to ask what kind of military will be needed going forward, Obama said. National Defense Magazine 


Russian Runoff Freshening Canadian Arctic, NASA Finds. A new NASA and University of Washington study allays concerns that melting Arctic sea ice could be increasing the amount of freshwater in the Arctic enough to have an impact on the global "ocean conveyor belt" that redistributes heat around our planet. Science Daily   


Arctic MapIs the Arctic Really a Geopolitical Flashpoint of the Future? Slowly, but surely, climate change is opening up the Arctic. Greenland's glaciers and ice fields are melting, sea ice around the North Pole is decreasing each year, and the huge permafrost areas of Russia and Canada are beginning to thaw. This has led to widespread speculation of a Great Game-style scramble for the region's abundant resources. Many studies, including those by the private sector and the United States Geological Survey, confirm that there are vast treasure-troves of oil, gas, and minerals in the Arctic. Yet, with the exception of iron ore in Greenland, these resources have not yet been exploited. In fact, despite rising temperatures, the impediments to extracting and transporting most resources from the Arctic will remain formidable for the foreseeable future. Public Service Europe 


Fuel Tanker Bound for Nome Turns Back for Minor Repairs. There's a new twist in the saga of a Russian fuel tanker trying to reach ice-bound Nome. The Coast Guard said the Renda was just 15 miles out from the Aleutian Islands port of Dutch Harbor when it turned back Wednesday to make minor repairs. Petty Officer Erik Ihle said the tanker was anchored just outside Dutch Harbor Wednesday night and plans called for it to head for Nome once again on Thursday. He didn't know the exact nature of the repairs. Anchorage Daily News  


Climate Changing Outlook for Harp Seals. Researchers from Duke University in the US found that sea ice in the seals' breeding grounds has shrunk by about 6% per decade over the last 30 years. In some recent years, they say, entire years' broods of cubs may have died. The species is abundant; the Duke team says its future depends on how it can adjust to new climatic conditions. BBC News 


Russia's Next Face Off on Ice. A December report from the Jamestown Foundation in Washington argues that Putin's goal is to win recognition of Russian claims to sovereignty to the full limit of the continental shelf at the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in 2012. The Commission was formed in 2007 by the countries party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Russia is one of the 21 countries represented on the Commission (neither Canada nor the United States is) whose five year mandate expires in June 2012. Russia has also been expanding its investment in arctic capabilities and increasing funding for scientific and naval missions in the arctic over the past few years. The Putin government announced in December that construction will begin this year on a new arctic oil pipeline that could carry as much as 15 percent of Russian production from new arctic fields to markets in Europe and Asia. Huffington Post Canada 


NOAAStatement from NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco on the Selection of Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Conservation and Management. "Today, I'm pleased to announce that I've chosen Eric Schwaab, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, to serve as NOAA's acting assistant secretary of commerce for conservation and management, a position left vacant by the departure of Dr. Larry Robinson in November 2011. Eric's official start date is January 17. The assistant secretary of commerce for conservation and management drives policy and program direction for NOAA's stewardship responsibilities, including ocean resource management, coastal management, and protected resources." NOAA


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered last yesterday.


Future Events                                   


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 16-20, 2012. The symposium was first held in 2002 to connect scientists in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond in an effort to collaborate and communicate on research


activities in the marine regions off Alaska. There will be plenary and poster sessions featuring a broad spectrum of ocean science on issues of climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fish and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. There will also be speakers, workshops and special sessions.


Workshop: Responding to Arctic Environmental Change: Translating Our Growing Understanding into a Research Agenda for Action Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2012.   Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. Co-sponsored by International Study of ArcISAC logotic Change (ISAC) and the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University. Endorsed by the International Arctic Science Committee, this workshop is the first in a planned series of meetings that aim to collectively shape and coordinate initiatives for research that directly addresses the needs of stakeholders who are affected by change or who are addressing arctic environmental change. The long-term objective is to enable local people, the arctic nations and the wider global community, including the scientific community, to better respond to a changing Arctic. This workshop is a pre-IPY 2012 Conference event. It is intended to develop a science plan that will feed into and further evolve at IPY 2012 Conference "From Knowledge to Action". For more information and to register for the workshop go here. 


Arctic Science Summit Week 2012, April 20-22, 2012. The summit will provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration, and cooperation in all areas of arctic science. Side meetings organized by stakeholders in arctic science and policy are also expected. More information to follow. 


From Knowledge to Action, April 22-27, 2012. The conference will bring together over 2,000 arctic and antarctic researchers, policy and decision-makers, and a broad range of interested parties from academia, industry, non-government, education and circumpolar communities including indigenous peoples. The conference is hosted by the Canadian IPY Program Office, in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada, among other groups. Each day of the conference will feature a program of keynote speakers, plenary panel discussions, parallel science sessions, as well as dedicated poster sessions. The conference-wide plenaries will explore themes related to topics of polar change, global linkages, communities and health, ecosystem services, infrastructure, resources and security. Other sessions will provide the opportunity to present and discuss the application of research findings, policy implications and how to take polar knowledge to action. 


The Tenth International Conference on Permafrost, June 2012. The conference will be held in Tyumen, Russia, and is organized and hosted by Russia. The last conference was held in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2008. Details to follow.  


The Arctic Imperative Summit, July 29-August 1, 2012. The summit will be hosted by Alaska Dispatch and will bring together leading voices in this conversation, including residents from the small villages that comprise Alaska's coastal communities, state, national and international leaders, the heads of shipping and industry, as well as international policymakers and the news media. The goal of the summit is to sharpen the focus on the policy and investment needs of Alaska's Arctic through a series of high level meetings, presentations, investor roundtables and original research.


15th International Congress on Circumpolar Health, August 5-10, 2012. This kivalina girlevent is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Society for Circumpolar Health, and the International Union for Circumpolar Health.  The forum will consider community participatory research and indigenous research; women's health, family health, and well-being; food security and nutrition; social determinants of health; environmental and occupational health; infectious and chronic diseases; climate change health impacts; health service delivery and infrastructure; and behavioral health.


Arctic/Inuit/Connections: Learning from the Top of the World , October 24-28, 2012.  The 18th Inuit Studies Conference, hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, will be held in Washington, DC. The conference will consider heritage museums and the North; globalization: an Arctic story; power, governance and politics in the North; the '"new" Arctic: social, cultural and climate change; and Inuit education, health, language, and literature. For more information, please email Lauren Marr.

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